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Conference Paper Royal Economic Society Conference 2016, 21-23 March, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.

The impact of marriage property law on spouses' marriage-specific investments


Publication date

23 Mar 2016


This paper analyses the effects of different marital
property regimes on the marriage-specific investment of the spouses. In
particular, it provides an empirical assessment of the effects of a change from
a separation property regime towards a more equal distribution of matrimonial assets
on labour supply, housework time and childcare, exploiting a decision taken by
the English House of Lord in 2000. I use a difference-in-difference approach,
with individual fixed effects. Results show that married women reduced the
hours worked by about 1.5-2.5 hours (slightly more if overtime is included)
when the property regime is more favourable to them. They didn't change the
number of hours devoted to housework, but the probability that they are mainly
responsible for children increased by 5-9%. The results hide heterogeneities:
as expected, the effects are significant for women in couples with higher level
of assets and wealth (proxied by education), while no effect is found among low
educated women.


Law And Legislation, Labour Economics, Family Formation And Dissolution, Savings And Assets, Sociology Of Households, and Caregiving


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